What Causes Morning Breath?

Posted on: September 16, 2018

Is morning breath inevitable?

How awesome would it be if our breath was as fresh as the rest of our bodies after a good night's sleep? It is actually possible. By knowing what causes morning breath, we can wake up each morning without fear of grossing out our significant others.

There are the five main causes of morning breath:

1. Pungent foods

The flavors and smells of pungent foods remain in the body long after meals. Onions and garlic are great examples of such foods. Once the body digests the foods, their flavors are absorbed into the bloodstream and carried to the lungs and skin. From the lungs, the flavors of the food are breathed out, ending up in the mouth.

That is right: Onions, garlic and spices have such strong flavors that brushing the teeth will only go so far. They are still delicious, though.

2. Forgetting to brush the teeth at night

During the day, the bacteria in the mouth is kept in check because the mouth is constantly active and fighting the bacteria.

If allowed to, bacteria will do its best work during sleep when it is uninterrupted. Forgetting to brush the teeth provides food particles for bacteria to thrive on. Bacteria act on the food particles to produce smelly gases called volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs). These gases are one variation of morning breath.

3. An improperly cleaned retainer

Retainers can collect germs if they are not cleaned properly. If worn dirty, a retainer can cause bad breath by introducing colonies of bacteria and fungi into the mouth. They should be cleaned daily with an antiseptic solution.

4. Dry mouth

Dry mouth can happen for a number of reasons. It can happen as a side effect of a medication. It can also happen when the body slows down the production of saliva during sleep. People who snore or sleep with their mouths open also get dry mouth at night. Saliva constantly cleans the mouth by removing bacteria and food particles. If the mouth becomes dry during sleep, bacteria multiply and have free rein to cause bad breath.

5. Smoking

Smokers' breath smells even worse in the morning. Smoking dries out the mouth and allows bacteria to multiply and produce VSCs which combine with the smell of tobacco to create a potent assault on the senses in the worst way.

How to prevent morning breath

  • A glass of water should be kept at the bedside to hydrate the mouth during the night
  • Sugar-free chewing gum can be used to stimulate saliva production
  • To reduce the bacteria in the mouth, an alcohol-free antiseptic mouth rinse can be used before bed
  • Much of the bacteria in the mouth is found on the tongue, so the tongue should always be scrubbed when brushing
  • Nicotine patches can be used in an effort to quit smoking

Is morning breath natural?

Only if it happens occasionally and only if it does not last all day. If you notice that you have bad breath every morning, all you have to do is figure out why and make a change. If none of the home remedies work, your dentist will be happy to help.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with Sandefer Premier Dental, request an appointment in our Denham Springs dental office here: https://www.sandeferpremierdental.com. Or call us at (225) 663-1793.

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